T.O. ISN'T THE GREEDY ONE
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Another star athlete asking for his wallet to be stuffed even more than it is already. Ho-hum, the usual. You hear about athletes trying to hit big paydays in all sports, just look at Alex Rodriguez's ridiculous $252 million, 10-year contract that was awarded to him in 2001. You saw Kobe Bryant force Phil Jackson and Shaquille O'Neal out of Los Angeles, and now you're seeing arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL try to force the Eagles into a quandary: more money, or no play.
What you really don't see is that it's probably not T.O.'s bidding. It's easy to say that the biggest loudmouth in the NFL is just trying to fatten his wallet. It's very, very easy to say that, and that's what it looks like... because that's what they want it to look like. If you look at this situation closely, you might begin to see some signs that this is really just the bidding of T.O.'s agent, Drew Rosenhaus.
If you remember back to around this time last season, you probably remember T.O. nixing a trade that would have sent him to Baltimore from San Francisco. "Philly was my 'A' choice, my priority on my list," said Owens, during the dispute that teased Baltimore fans into thinking they got a top-tier wide receiver. Owens filed a grievance to alleviate a situation brought on by his failure to void the final three seasons of his contract (making him a free agent, free to join any team he wants). T.O. wants to be in Philly. In fact, amidst the Ravens-Eagles confusion last season, Owens even said, "Obviously I want to get paid, but at the same time, I want to get happy, too."
So what does that mean? T.O. doesn't want more money, nor does he need it. The Eagles paid him handsomely last season, and he has no reason to want more. He claims he's "doing what's best" for his family, but with the income he's getting, all it's going to do is put another Jaguar in the garage. It's not going to put more or better food on the table, or help to pay the bills.
T.O. also wants to stay on the Eagles. Part of the reason he was so zealous in coming to Philadelphia last season was that he would have a quarterback that would actually throw him the ball consistently and accurately. Do you think T.O. would've come back on short rest on a wobbly leg to catch passes from Kyle Boller? Do you think he would have striven for 15 touchdown catches if Brian Billick would wear tights as a result? T.O. needs the Eagles just as much as they need him.
Now, with that out of the way, let's get to the real conductor of this ordeal: Drew Rosenhaus. This really is quite simple. Rosenhaus has two very logical motives for pushing T.O. to ask for more money:
1.) If T.O. gets more money, then Rosenhaus gets more money.
2.) If - strong emphasis on if - T.O. does get more money, Eagles or not, other players will see how "good" of an agent Rosenhaus is and hire him as their agent as well, hoping to get similar paydays.
In the end, it all results in Rosenhaus putting more money in his pocket.
It's really Rosenhaus orchestrating T.O. threatening to sit out and demanding trades. Can it really hurt T.O.'s reputation to ask for more money? You grow to expect these shenanigans from loudmouths like T.O. and Rosenhaus has nothing to lose by making his top client demand more money, and I really can't blame him for it. After all, we all get jobs to get money, right? He's just doing his job.
If the Eagles continue to run their organization as well as they have been, T.O. will not get his contract reworked. He can sit out and not get paid, but he's still under contract to the Eagles - he signed a seven-year deal with the Eagles on March 16, 2004, between $46 and $48 million and includes a $10 million signing bonus. If T.O. wants any money, not only will he be in training camp, he'll be on the field catching passes from Donovan McNabb on opening day.